TVD Live Shots: IDLES at Brixton Academy, 1/19

If for some reason you’ve been holding out on embracing the idea that IDLES are the best thing to happen to the punk since The Clash, it’s time you let your guard down and believe the hype.

There are no “hits” to be found, just consistently pulverizing live shows, unapologetic, direct hits to pop culture, and blatant political statements wrapped in a tornado of fury. These unlikely heroes for a post-Brexit, Covid-exhausted, lampooned government are everything the world needs right now—five dudes from Bristol taking over the world doing what seemingly comes very naturally to them. It’s a magnificent journey to watch.

You know a band will continue their tear through the current over-sanitized music scene when they keep delivering and avoiding any hype going to their heads. In November, IDLES released their brand new album Crawler, their fourth in as many years and the follow-up to their first number one, 2019’s Ultra Mono. Theirs is no overnight success as the band formed in Bristol back in 2009, so they’ve paid their dues.

While the new album takes a bit of getting used to once you see the songs live, with many of them seeing their debut this night at Brixton, you get it immediately. Interestingly enough, their most successful album was the least represented in the set. Does this mean the band is testing the audience? Either way, with every show for the foreseeable future completely sold out across the globe, it doesn’t matter.

IDLES are evolving, and so are their live shows. I saw them a few years back in Dublin, and I thought they were on fire, but they’ve gone nuclear this time around. I found myself with an oversized beer in hand standing atop the famed Brixton Academy, first in awe recalling one of my all-time favorite bands, Faith No More, playing their iconic set in the ’90s, and between a shit-ton of fans who seemingly knew every single song and virtually every lyric.

It begs the question, is there another band this aggressive who is so universally appealing? I don’t think so. Four sold-out nights to boot? Un-fucking heard of. As further evidence they can do no wrong they’ve added a fucking saxophone player, and it works! I’d imagine this is going to be a trend so watch for your favorite up-and-coming post-punk band for a new sax player at any moment.

Not terribly surprising, IDLES will play Coachella this year alongside the likes of Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Kanye West. This is going to be their London Calling moment—the moment when the rest of the world “gets” it. (It would be awesome to see saxophonist Colin Webster recreate the iconic Paul Simonon moment by smashing his saxophone in a similar style. One can hope.)

Godspeed IDLES. Keep pushing aggressively against the grain and keep it fucking real.

This entry was posted in TVD UK. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text